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How to Write for Rise

If you're getting preventive services, have children in care, or have gotten your children back, we're interested in your story. Work with an editor experienced in helping parents tell their stories. Make your voice heard. Your experience and insights can help others.

You can write for Rise no matter where you live in the United States. Please click here to download our writing application. If you have any questions, call editor Nora McCarthy at (212) 279-0708 x113 or email her at nora@risemagazine.org.

How Rise stories are written:

Every story is a big commitment. Writing a personal essay about your experiences can be very emotional. It also takes a long time, and many drafts, to finish a single story. Most writers take 3-4 months of meeting weekly to finish a single story. However, writing is an excellent way to think through what you've been through, to celebrate your successes and to help other parents. When your story is printed, you'll be helping at least 15,000 other parents in your situation. Writers receive $100 when the story is finished.

Rise Writing Groups:

Many stories for Rise are produced in a writing workshop that has met weekly for several years at the Child Welfare Organizing Project, a program in East Harlem that teaches parents their rights and runs a self-help support group. You can join the class at CWOP by calling Teresa at (212) 348-3000.

Teresa can also give you information about CWOP's work in East Harlem, the Highbridge section of the Bronx and Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.

Working at the Rise Office

If you live in New York City, you can make an appointment to write at the Rise office. The office is at 224 W. 29th Street. You can meet with me to discuss your story and use a computer to type it up or you can write by hand.

Writing by Mail or Email:

Several Rise writers contribute by working over email or by sending drafts in the mail. It's usually much easier to do this if we meet in person before we get started, but if you live outside of New York City, this is a good option. The mailing address is:

224 W. 29th St. 2nd Fl.
New York, NY 10001.
My email is: nora@risemagazine.org

Simply send me a few paragraphs explaining what you'd like to write, and how you think it might benefit Rise readers. Tell me a little bit about yourself. We can go from there.

What It's Like to Write for Rise

Two Rise writers share their experiences writing for Rise:

Writing for Rise has given me an opportunity to let go of those angry feelings I felt over the years, and having my stories published gave me a great feeling. I felt proud of myself. I accomplished something positive by writing for Rise, something I didn't even know I was capable of—writing for a magazine that can make a difference in people's lives.

Answering the questions was the most difficult part for me. My first few stories, especially, were about painful experiences in my life and my children's lives. Having to put it on paper made me relive it again, at least in my mind. My advice to the new writers for Rise is be honest with yourself and give honest answers. It will help you overcome those feelings that you have bottled inside. Remember, parents are probably out there facing the same experiences that you once faced and overcame, and are probably afraid of telling anyone. By writing for Rise you could be giving those parents the strength to carry on just like you did.

Writing for Rise gives you, a parent, the chance to really tell your story. You can write about how the foster care system made you feel and the process you went through. No matter how you feel, even if you can't tell somebody, you might be able to write it on paper. Your story will let other parents know they are not by themselves. Other people have been through what you're going through or have been through.

Writing for Rise has made me grow in my writing. I learned to write with details and not to be scared of the questions. You get a lot of questions from the editor about the difficult parts of your story. It was difficult for me, in the beginning, to admit to losing my daughter because of my abuse of drugs. Parts of my stories were very emotional. My advice is to remember that what you are writing is just part of your story. If it feels too difficult to answer at first, be honest with Nora, the editor. Talk to her about it. That's what helped me—to talk, release my tears, and then focus on the question. I was able to write my emotions out. Take a deep breath and just look at what you will gain. It helped me to look back and look forward, think through my experience, and tell my story without being judged. I feared I would be judged for why my children were removed, but I was not.

When I have seen my articles in the magazine, I've felt so proud of myself that I have accomplished another story. My daughter and my husband are so proud of me. And I hope that my stories can help another mother in the same situation. My counselor from drug treatment read my story in Rise and called me back to speak in a parenting class to motivate other mothers to stay clean and not give up. That was a special reward for me. Writing for the magazine has made me feel like I give other women positive belief in themselves that they too can accomplish their goals and get their children back.

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